Thank you a lot. But 'dead' as a noun comes only after the word 'the', so I can say, ' The dead don't go to this place' and I never say ' Dead never go to this place.'
"The number of dead" is a very impersonal way of saying "the number of dead people". This way of writing originates in military reports, e.g.
Casualties -The battle of Xtown
50 walking wounded
10 missing in action
Where did you find this text? Who wrote it?
Here's an actual example of such language.
Cryan leaves and we do as ordered.
Golf Company has ten dead and twenty-four wounded, No one's missing in action. The rest of the battalion has seventeen dead and eighteen wounded. We finally have them staged in one area that we hope will be accessible for helicopters in the morning. Right now, it's too damn dark to tell. We dread having to move everyone again.
Walking Wounded: Memoir of a Combat Veteran By Fred Tomasello Jr.